Vamsee K. Pamula
Other affiliations: United States Department of Energy Office of Science, Duke University
Bio: Vamsee K. Pamula is an academic researcher from Research Triangle Park. The author has contributed to research in topics: Digital microfluidics & Microfluidics. The author has an hindex of 54, co-authored 135 publications receiving 11219 citations. Previous affiliations of Vamsee K. Pamula include United States Department of Energy Office of Science & Duke University.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: This work presents an alternative paradigm--a fully integrated and reconfigurable droplet-based "digital" microfluidic lab-on-a-chip for clinical diagnostics on human physiological fluids, and demonstrates reliable and repeatable high-speed transport of microdroplets.
Abstract: Clinical diagnostics is one of the most promising applications for microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems, especially in a point-of-care setting. Conventional microfluidic devices are usually based on continuous-flow in microchannels, and offer little flexibility in terms of reconfigurability and scalability. Handling of real physiological samples has also been a major challenge in these devices. We present an alternative paradigm—a fully integrated and reconfigurable droplet-based “digital” microfluidic lab-on-a-chip for clinical diagnostics on human physiological fluids. The microdroplets, which act as solution-phase reaction chambers, are manipulated using the electrowetting effect. Reliable and repeatable high-speed transport of microdroplets of human whole blood, serum, plasma, urine, saliva, sweat and tear, is demonstrated to establish the basic compatibility of these physiological fluids with the electrowetting platform. We further performed a colorimetric enzymatic glucose assay on serum, plasma, urine, and saliva, to show the feasibility of performing bioassays on real samples in our system. The concentrations obtained compare well with those obtained using a reference method, except for urine, where there is a significant difference due to interference by uric acid. A lab-on-a-chip architecture, integrating previously developed digital microfluidic components, is proposed for integrated and automated analysis of multiple analytes on a monolithic device. The lab-on-a-chip integrates sample injection, on-chip reservoirs, droplet formation structures, fluidic pathways, mixing areas and optical detection sites, on the same substrate. The pipelined operation of two glucose assays is shown on a prototype digital microfluidic lab-on-chip, as a proof-of-concept.
TL;DR: The performance of magnetic bead-based immunoassays (cardiac troponin I) on a digital microfluidic cartridge in less than 8 minutes using whole blood samples and the capability to perform sample preparation for bacterial infectious disease pathogen, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and for human genomic DNA using magnetic beads are demonstrated.
Abstract: Point of care testing is playing an increasingly important role in improving the clinical outcome in health care management. The salient features of a point of care device are rapid results, integrated sample preparation and processing, small sample volumes, portability, multifunctionality and low cost. In this paper, we demonstrate some of these salient features utilizing an electrowetting-based Digital Microfluidic platform. We demonstrate the performance of magnetic bead-based immunoassays (cardiac troponin I) on a digital microfluidic cartridge in less than 8 minutes using whole blood samples. Using the same microfluidic cartridge, a 40-cycle real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed within 12 minutes by shuttling a droplet between two thermal zones. We further demonstrate, on the same cartridge, the capability to perform sample preparation for bacterial infectious disease pathogen, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and for human genomic DNA using magnetic beads. In addition to rapid results and integrated sample preparation, electrowetting-based digital microfluidic instruments are highly portable because fluid pumping is performed electronically. All the digital microfluidic chips presented here were fabricated on printed circuit boards utilizing mass production techniques that keep the cost of the chip low. Due to the modularity and scalability afforded by digital microfluidics, multifunctional testing capability, such as combinations within and between immunoassays, DNA amplification, and enzymatic assays, can be brought to the point of care at a relatively low cost because a single chip can be configured in software for different assays required along the path of care.
TL;DR: This paper studies the effects of varying droplet aspect ratios on linear-array droplet mixers, and proposes mixing strategies applicable for both high and low aspect ratio systems, and presents a split-and-merge mixer that takes advantage of the ability to perform droplet splitting at these ratios.
Abstract: The mixing of analytes and reagents for a biological or chemical lab-on-a-chip is an important, yet difficult, microfluidic operation. As volumes approach the sub-nanoliter regime, the mixing of liquids is hindered by laminar flow conditions. An electrowetting-based linear-array droplet mixer has previously been reported. However, fixed geometric parameters and the presence of flow reversibility have prevented even faster droplet mixing times. In this paper, we study the effects of varying droplet aspect ratios (height ∶ diameter) on linear-array droplet mixers, and propose mixing strategies applicable for both high and low aspect ratio systems. An optimal aspect ratio for four electrode linear-array mixing was found to be 0.4, with a mixing time of 4.6 seconds. Mixing times were further reduced at this ratio to less than three seconds using a two-dimensional array mixer, which eliminates the effects of flow reversibility. For lower aspect ratio (≤0.2) systems, we present a split-and-merge mixer that takes advantage of the ability to perform droplet splitting at these ratios, resulting in a mixing time of less than two seconds.
TL;DR: In this paper, a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LoC) platform for in vitro measurement of glucose for clinical diagnostic applications is presented, where droplets act as solution-phase reaction chambers and are manipulated using the electrowetting effect.
Abstract: A microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LoC) platform for in vitro measurement of glucose for clinical diagnostic applications is presented in this paper. The LoC uses a discrete droplet format in contrast to conventional continuous flow microfluidic systems. The droplets act as solution-phase reaction chambers and are manipulated using the electrowetting effect. Glucose is measured using a colorimetric enzyme-kinetic method based on Trinder’s reaction. The color change is detected using an absorbance measurement system consisting of a light emitting diode and a photodiode. The linear range of the assay is 9–100 mg/dl using a sample dilution factor of 2 and 15–300 mg/dl using a sample dilution factor of 3. The results obtained on the electrowetting system compare favorably with conventional measurements done on a spectrophotometer, indicating that there is no change in enzyme activity under electrowetting conditions.
TL;DR: In this paper, an alternative mixing strategy is presented based on the discretization of liquids into droplets and further manipulation of those droplets by electrowetting, where interfacial tensions of the droplets are controlled with the application of voltage.
Abstract: Mixing of analytes and reagents is a critical step in realizing a lab-on-a-chip. However, mixing of liquids is very difficult in continuous flow microfluidics due to laminar flow conditions. An alternative mixing strategy is presented based on the discretization of liquids into droplets and further manipulation of those droplets by electrowetting. The interfacial tensions of the droplets are controlled with the application of voltage. The droplets act as virtual mixing chambers, and mixing occurs by transporting the droplet across an electrode array. We also present an improved method for visualization of mixing where the top and side views of mixing are simultaneously observed. Microliters of liquid droplets are mixed in less than five seconds, which is an order of magnitude improvement in reported mixing times of droplets. Flow reversibility hinders the process of mixing during linear droplet motion. This mixing process is not physically confined and can be dynamically reconfigured to any location on the chip to improve the throughput of the lab-on-a-chip.
TL;DR: A review of the physics of small volumes (nanoliters) of fluids is presented, as parametrized by a series of dimensionless numbers expressing the relative importance of various physical phenomena as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Microfabricated integrated circuits revolutionized computation by vastly reducing the space, labor, and time required for calculations. Microfluidic systems hold similar promise for the large-scale automation of chemistry and biology, suggesting the possibility of numerous experiments performed rapidly and in parallel, while consuming little reagent. While it is too early to tell whether such a vision will be realized, significant progress has been achieved, and various applications of significant scientific and practical interest have been developed. Here a review of the physics of small volumes (nanoliters) of fluids is presented, as parametrized by a series of dimensionless numbers expressing the relative importance of various physical phenomena. Specifically, this review explores the Reynolds number Re, addressing inertial effects; the Peclet number Pe, which concerns convective and diffusive transport; the capillary number Ca expressing the importance of interfacial tension; the Deborah, Weissenberg, and elasticity numbers De, Wi, and El, describing elastic effects due to deformable microstructural elements like polymers; the Grashof and Rayleigh numbers Gr and Ra, describing density-driven flows; and the Knudsen number, describing the importance of noncontinuum molecular effects. Furthermore, the long-range nature of viscous flows and the small device dimensions inherent in microfluidics mean that the influence of boundaries is typically significant. A variety of strategies have been developed to manipulate fluids by exploiting boundary effects; among these are electrokinetic effects, acoustic streaming, and fluid-structure interactions. The goal is to describe the physics behind the rich variety of fluid phenomena occurring on the nanoliter scale using simple scaling arguments, with the hopes of developing an intuitive sense for this occasionally counterintuitive world.
01 May 2005
University of Alabama at Birmingham1, University of Michigan2, University of Wisconsin-Madison3, University of Pittsburgh4, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine5, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston6, Rowan University7, University of Pennsylvania8, Georgia Regents University9, Cornell University10, Boston Children's Hospital11, Wayne State University12
TL;DR: IDSA considers adherence to these guidelines to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in the light of each patient's individual circumstances.
Abstract: It is important to realize that guidelines cannot always account for individual variation among patients. They are not intended to supplant physician judgment with respect to particular patients or special clinical situations. IDSA considers adherence to these guidelines to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in the light of each patient's individual circumstances.
TL;DR: Experimental results support the assertion that the dominant contribution to the dynamics of break-up arises from the pressure drop across the emerging droplet or bubble.
Abstract: This article describes the process of formation of droplets and bubbles in microfluidic T-junction geometries. At low capillary numbers break-up is not dominated by shear stresses: experimental results support the assertion that the dominant contribution to the dynamics of break-up arises from the pressure drop across the emerging droplet or bubble. This pressure drop results from the high resistance to flow of the continuous (carrier) fluid in the thin films that separate the droplet from the walls of the microchannel when the droplet fills almost the entire cross-section of the channel. A simple scaling relation, based on this assertion, predicts the size of droplets and bubbles produced in the T-junctions over a range of rates of flow of the two immiscible phases, the viscosity of the continuous phase, the interfacial tension, and the geometrical dimensions of the device.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors compare the various approaches used to derive the basic electrowetting equation, which has been shown to be very reliable as long as the applied voltage is not too high.
Abstract: Electrowetting has become one of the most widely used tools for manipulating tiny amounts of liquids on surfaces. Applications range from 'lab-on-a-chip' devices to adjustable lenses and new kinds of electronic displays. In the present article, we review the recent progress in this rapidly growing field including both fundamental and applied aspects. We compare the various approaches used to derive the basic electrowetting equation, which has been shown to be very reliable as long as the applied voltage is not too high. We discuss in detail the origin of the electrostatic forces that induce both contact angle reduction and the motion of entire droplets. We examine the limitations of the electrowetting equation and present a variety of recent extensions to the theory that account for distortions of the liquid surface due to local electric fields, for the finite penetration depth of electric fields into the liquid, as well as for finite conductivity effects in the presence of AC voltage. The most prominent failure of the electrowetting equation, namely the saturation of the contact angle at high voltage, is discussed in a separate section. Recent work in this direction indicates that a variety of distinct physical effects?rather than a unique one?are responsible for the saturation phenomenon, depending on experimental details. In the presence of suitable electrode patterns or topographic structures on the substrate surface, variations of the contact angle can give rise not only to continuous changes of the droplet shape, but also to discontinuous morphological transitions between distinct liquid morphologies. The dynamics of electrowetting are discussed briefly. Finally, we give an overview of recent work aimed at commercial applications, in particular in the fields of adjustable lenses, display technology, fibre optics, and biotechnology-related microfluidic devices.